Grooming | A Continuous Lean.

Shave and a Haircut at Harry’s.

Oct 27th, 2013 | Categories: Grooming, Men's Stores, New York City | by Michael Williams


Harry’s, the internet-spawned close-shave-loving German-made razor-blade-kingpins have gotten into the barber shop game with its awesome new outpost on MacDougal Street in SoHo. The question is: does New York need another barber shop? And actually, the answer is: yes, yes it does. While barber shops seem to be appearing on the daily in New York these days (Fellow Barber, the Barbershop on Rivington Street), judging from the massive lines at all of these shops it looks like there is no shortage of customers either. And thankfully, Harry’s has a plan for that too. Word is that this new shop hopes to thwart all that line standing with an online appointment system, something the competition can’t yet offer.

Not content with just making great razors (and other nice shaving gear) and having a great editorial vehicle with the Hotchkiss-helmed Five O’Clock, Harry’s appears to have opened the best merchandised barber in New York and potentially on the planet. In addition to all of the great grooming product from guys like Imperial, Baxter of California and Proraso, there’s also a tightly edited collection of small items like notebooks from Public Supply, footballs from Leatherhead, vintage knives and all stripe of other manly trinket worth owning. There’s even boxers on offer from Sleepy Jones should you (oddly) need to resupply while you get your haircut. It’s a well done affair over there at Harry’s. Not that we were expecting anything less from good guys like them.


Grooming is the new #Menswear

Oct 1st, 2013 | Categories: Grooming | by Michael Williams

Today is a pretty big day for your face. Harry’s, the lords of American shaving, unveiled its new magazine called Five O’ Clock (which is obviously a cheeky drinking reference). Then, almost simultaneously, the masterminds at Mr Porter took the lid off of its new grooming shop, which is stocked with all sorts of good stuff from Aesop, Baxter of California (which we do work with, full disclosure), Le Labo, Malin + Goetz and more. Maybe there’s something in the water?

Or maybe it seems like today could be looked back upon as a red-letter day for men’s faces. Obviously, that is a bit of an overstatement, but the fact that all of this is happening makes me think that guys are actually taking care of themselves. Not that the concept of that is really new, but it seems like there’s some sort critical mass forming in the men’s grooming world? That or this is the pendulum is finally swinging away from the frothy, bearded-days of the urban woodsman. As someone who has had to shave his entire life (due to my inability to wear a normal looking beard), these days of shaving start-ups like Harry’s are a welcome sight.


Ted Harrington is one strange fellow. Proof above.

Meet Rivington Street’s Newest Barbershop.

Jul 20th, 2013 | Categories: Grooming, New York City | by Michael Williams


If ever you got a shave or a haircut at the original barbershop at Freemans Sporting Club you will understand that more space was needed since about week two. This morning I was one of the first to get my hair cut at the newly expanded shop next door at 10 Rivington Street. While the new set-up is much more spacious than the previous location, it still gets crowded with customers basically the minute it opens. I actually went by to see this new barbershop yesterday afternoon and as soon as I got there the door was still being painted and customers were climbing in through the window to get haircuts. That’s loyalty.

Designed by Taavo Somer, the space pays homage to his Scandinavian roots with light pine wood covering the entire ceiling. The pine —which was sourced from an old barn in Upstate New York— was also used to make the custom barber stations. The new shop is very much a work in progress, with some of the finishing touches still to come. Miles Elliot, one of the partners in the operation, told me that so many people came by during the two days they were transitioning to the new space so many regulars came by to try to get appointments, they figured they might as well just open as it.


Barbershop_Freemans_Sporting_Club_02 Barbershop_Freemans_Sporting_Club_03

Upward Mobility: The Beard Goes Corporate

Jan 25th, 2013 | Categories: David Coggins, Grooming | by David Coggins

Blankfein I

We’ve ruminated in the past on Lloyd Blankfein’s sartorial strategies and the tradition of executive dressing, particularly among Italian titans of industry who know how to do it. So we were curious to discover recent shots of Mr. Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, in Davos, with a beard. Apparently he grows them when he’s on vacation and this time he felt confident enough to go on the record before the cameras.

While this did not cause as much comment as the First Lady’s bangs, it does represent the migration of the beard from the urban woodsman to the corporate boardroom. Mr. Blankfein’s beard is certainly not radical—it’s more of a thin layer of snow than an avalanche of white—but it is progress of a sort for those of us who support beards in all tax brackets and all locations, including the corridors of power.

L.A.’s Newest Barber

Apr 30th, 2010 | Categories: Grooming, Los Angeles, Men's Stores | by Michael Williams

When I was in L.A. a few weeks ago I stopped by to see the gents from Baxter of California at their then unfinished barber shop on LaCienega. Well today the veil has been lifted, and the new spot dubbed Baxter Finley, Barber & Shop, looks even better than I had anticipated. It is opening officially tomorrow, if you want to stop in for L.A.’s newest (and possibly best?) wet shave.

Baxter Finley, Barber & Shop | 515 N. LaCienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.

Well Played | Definitive Beards

May 11th, 2009 | Categories: Grooming, Style | by Michael Williams

Many have tried and many have failed. Finally there is a cool blog about beards, moustaches, shaving, barber shops and all of that good stuff. The site called Definitive Beards, is a wood-panel lined men’s club curated by Mr. David Coggins, the gent behind the exquisite Exit Lines. The blog is a celebration of the battle with facial hair and consists of well chosen photos scrolling down the center with grooming resources on the right. What else does a guy need? Maybe Mr. Coggins will start a weapons blog next. Definitive Beards


5th Cavalry at Grant Park, 1915

J Sullivan 1898

Black River Falls, WI

The Interview | Baxter of California

Dec 17th, 2008 | Categories: Grooming, The Interview | by Michael Williams

Grooming is a topic that doesn’t get a lot of play around these parts. A few weeks ago the Morning Regimen post elicited a terrific, yet unexpected discussion on shaving. Working to focus more on the subject, I thought it prudent to highlight one of my most-liked skincare and shaving brands, Baxter of California. The company was founded out of necessity (and a void in the men’s skincare market), by Baxter Finley in 1966 becoming the first American men’s grooming company. Fast forward to the year two-thousand when Mr. Finley — who was looking to retire — placed the controls in the capable hands of his family friend and neighbor Jean-Pierre Mastey. Since taking over Jean-Pierre has done an excellent job of streamlining and re-positioning the brand and it now sits as one of the premier players in the space. I had a chance to talk to Mr. Mastey and shed some light on the good things happening at Baxter. Read our Q&A after the jump…